The Delaware River Theatre Collective is set to present the first of its two summer productions in July when the group brings the Gilbert and Sullivan comic musical, The Pirates of Penzance, to the Stephen J. Buck Memorial Theater stage. The perfect family musical, The Pirates of Penzance will run for three performances on Friday, July 6 at 8 pm, Saturday, July 7 at 8 pm and Sunday, July 8 at 2 pm.
Written by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, the original masters of the comic musical, The Pirates of Penzance is a wacky farce filled with a rollicking band of pirates, a bevy of giggling maidens and their “very model of a modern Major-General” father along with a dashing pirate apprentice, a fading nursemaid and a bunch of blundering policemen.
On his 21st birthday the young pirate apprentice, Frederic, has completed his duty of servitude to his fellow pirates. He must leave the pirates who have raised him, venture out into the world and become his own person, experience new things and meet new people. The young, beautiful Mabel instantly catches his eye but obstacles threaten to cause trouble for young Frederic and keep him from the happy ending he deserves.
This production of The Pirates of Penzance features several actors well known to regional theatre audiences. Louis Palena plays The Pirate King. Palena was seen for over a decade in productions at New Hope’s Bucks County Playhouse and currently serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre in Titusville, NJ. David Whiteman portrays the Major-General. No stranger to area theatergoers, Whiteman was also a Bucks County Playhouse staple and has more recently been seen regionally as Mayor Shinn in the 2012 Open Air Theatre production of The Music Man and Ebenezer Scrooge in the annual Downtown Players holiday production of A Christmas Carol. The roles of Frederic and Mabel are played by Peter Petrino and Lauren Brownstein. The cast also includes JorDan Brennan, Jill Palena, Suzanne Slade and Jenny Johnson.
The Pirates of Penzance is directed and choreographed by Delaware River Theatre Collective Artistic Director, Richard Amelius. Amelius has directed numerous productions in the Philadelphia region receiving six Barrymore Award nominations, including two for “Best Choreography” for Sweet Charity and Cabaret and one for “Best Leading Actor in a Musical” for his portrayal of the Emcee in Cabaret. Amelius has formed the Delaware River Theatre Collective in an effort to bring professional, live theatre back to the Bucks County and Hunterdon County region.
The Delaware River Theatre Collective’s mission is to inspire and educate through the joy of Living Theatre and to engage a diverse audience by making innovative, high quality and relevant entertainment accessible to all ages. The Collective is in the process of securing a permanent venue with plans to produce a full season of musicals and children’s shows in its new home beginning in 2013.
The Delaware River Theatre Collective production of The Pirates of Penzance will be performed at the Stephen J. Buck Memorial Theater, located at the New Hope-Solebury High School, 182 West Bridge Street in New Hope, PA. Performances of The Pirates of Penzance will take place on Friday, July 6 at 8 pm, Saturday, July 7 at 8 pm and Sunday, July 8 at 2 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and children. Reserved seating can be purchased online by visiting www.delawarerivertheatrecollective.org.
Pictured: Louis Palena as the Pirate King, Jenny Johnson as Ruth, David Whiteman as Major General Stanley, Lauren Brownstein as Mabel and Peter Petrino as Frederic in PIRATES OF PENZANCE.